President Obama gave Bibi Netanyahu an ultimatum on renewing negotiations with the Palestinians, according to reports cited by Israel Radio Sunday morning. According to the ultimatum, Netanyahu has to decide within a month whether he agrees to accept President Barack Obama’s platform and resume talks based on 1967 lines.
The President has been working on getting the leaders of major Jewish organizations on their side realizing that some of them, such as Abe Foxman of the ADL are more concerned about advancing their power in the progressive political world than their organization’s Jewish mission.
According to Eli Lake of the Washington Times the Obama White House appealed to Jewish leaders on Friday that the request of Israel was part of an effort to head off Palestinian plans to declare an independent state at the United Nations
Defenders of the President insist that the President’s “1967 borders with land swaps” is nothing new. But it certainly is.
As Jennifer Rubin reported in the Washington Post, “On Saturday I asked a State Department official authorized only to speak on background: Does “1967 borders with land swaps” mean “1967 and then we discuss swaps” or does it mean “1967 borders plus the swaps that the parties previously agreed to in negotiations including the Jerusalem suburbs”? The latter, I pointed out is consistent with the 2004 Bush-Sharon letters, but the former is not. In fact, if it is 1967 and then they discuss land swaps, that is the same as starting with the 1967 borders. Period. And sure enough the State Department official told me, “It means swaps that the parties will agree on in the course of direct negotiations.”
In other words, Obama wants Israel to start negotiating under the assumption that that the Kotel, the old city and the Jerusalem suburbs are Palestinian property, cancelling up prior understandings that these areas would never be part of a Palestinian state. That has never before been the U.S. government’s demand, and it weakens Israel’s bargaining position.” In other words, there is zero difference in the Obama plan between “1967 borders” and “1967 border with land swaps.” In both, the starting point is borders Israel has deemed indefensible.
At the same time President Obama has not made similar demands of the Palestinians, not even requesting the most basic of concessions that the Palestinians recognize Israel as the Jewish State. When you put it all together, Obama is asking Israel to make concessions with a government which is comprised of two terrorist organizations bent on its destruction, Fatah makes their calls for Israel’s destruction in Arabic only, and Hamas who calls for the destruction of Israel is clear in any language.
It’s time for the President to remember the famous words of Albert Einstein “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.” The last time Obama called for one-sided concessions by Israel (the settlement freeze), the only result was a break off in talks because the Palestinians used the administration’s demands as preconditions for further talks. The bottom line is that the Palestinian Authority is not ready to sign a peace deal that recognizes Israel as a Jewish State, whether the boarders are the 1948 armistice lines or the small UN Mandate borders.
Supposedly Obama is making the demands because he does not want to be forced to veto the unilateral Palestinian Statehood declaration in September. The truth is that the Palestinians are well aware their unilateral statehood push has no chance; its only purpose is to continue the international de-legitimization of Israel. Obama’s demand for the 67 lines as a starting point is serving the same purpose, because there is no way Israel can agree to it. An Israeli concession on borders prior to talks even start robs them of their one bargaining chip. And there is no corresponding Palestinian concession.
But that is not a concern of the President, almost every action he as taken since his inauguration indicates that he is not a big friend of the Jewish State, despite the support he has gotten from the progressive leadership of the major Jewish organizations.
Unfortunately it looks as if the administration will be able to have it both ways. While the President’s strategy is being exposed here and in much of the conservative media, the progressive mainstream media, most of the Jewish press, normally pro-Israel democratic legislators and even leaders of major Jewish organizations are reluctant to stand in front of the camera and break with their progressive meal ticket Barack Obama.
During the administration of George H.W. Bush, probably the most anti-Israel American presidency prior to this one, Secretary of State James Baker once commented on whether his anti-Israel stance will hurt the Jewish vote for Bush’s reelection campaign. His famous response was, “F*** the Jews, they won’t vote for us any way.” Today the administration of Barack Obama has a similar attitude, “F*** the Jews, they will vote for us whatever we do!”
Sadly they are probably right. Jewish money still pours into Democratic Party coffers even though the President from their party is the most anti-Israel in history, and the legislators are two cowardly to confront him in public. Hopefully when it comes time to vote in 2012, American Jews will wake up and smell the hummus. If this administration is this anti-Israel in the middle of a re-election campaign, I shudder to think what will happen during a second, lame duck campaign when he no longer needs any Jewish support.